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The world of custom cars: celebrating 50 years of Alpina

Alpina Weber dual carburettor kit 1962-1965 : The company started as one man building a dual carburettor kit to boost the power of a single BMW but it was so successful that by 1965 Alpina was formed with an initial eight employees and was integrating its performance improvements directly into BMW engines. Photo:AFP
1/9Alpina Weber dual carburettor kit 1962-1965 : The company started as one man building a dual carburettor kit to boost the power of a single BMW but it was so successful that by 1965 Alpina was formed with an initial eight employees and was integrating its performance improvements directly into BMW engines. Photo:AFP
BMW Alpina 3.0 CSL 1973 : Alpina soon became an integral part of BMW’s motorsport arm and by the early 70s had moved on from overhauling engines to building its own Alpina-BMW-badged cars. Alpina’s insistence led to the creation of one of the most legendary and collectable modern-era BMWs of all time, the 3.0 CSL. This model, with extra Alpina factory features, is one of fewer than 20 in the world. Photo:AFP
2/9BMW Alpina 3.0 CSL 1973 : Alpina soon became an integral part of BMW’s motorsport arm and by the early 70s had moved on from overhauling engines to building its own Alpina-BMW-badged cars. Alpina’s insistence led to the creation of one of the most legendary and collectable modern-era BMWs of all time, the 3.0 CSL. This model, with extra Alpina factory features, is one of fewer than 20 in the world. Photo:AFP
BMW Alpina B6 2.8 1978 : The car’s 6-cylinder engine could output 222hp and accelerate from 0-100kph in 7.2 seconds when it launched in 1978 and Alpina kept improving on it right up until 1983. Despite its costing the equivalent of $21,000, Alpina sold over 500 in that time. Photo:AFP
3/9BMW Alpina B6 2.8 1978 : The car’s 6-cylinder engine could output 222hp and accelerate from 0-100kph in 7.2 seconds when it launched in 1978 and Alpina kept improving on it right up until 1983. Despite its costing the equivalent of $21,000, Alpina sold over 500 in that time. Photo:AFP
BMW Alpina B7 S Turbo Coupé 1982 : With 330PS and a 0-100kph time of 5.4 seconds, this car was ferociously fast for 1982. Based on the BMW 635CSi, it was only in production for five months and only 60 first-generation models were built and cost the equivalent of $42,000 each. Photo:AFP
4/9BMW Alpina B7 S Turbo Coupé 1982 : With 330PS and a 0-100kph time of 5.4 seconds, this car was ferociously fast for 1982. Based on the BMW 635CSi, it was only in production for five months and only 60 first-generation models were built and cost the equivalent of $42,000 each. Photo:AFP
BMW Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo 1989-1993 : This was the world’s fastest four-door car when it went on sale in 1989. It had a top speed in excess of 290kph and a 0-100kph time of 5.6 seconds. With a pricetag of $90,000, it was also one of the world's most expensive. However, Alpina made 507 in five years. Photo:AFP
5/9BMW Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo 1989-1993 : This was the world’s fastest four-door car when it went on sale in 1989. It had a top speed in excess of 290kph and a 0-100kph time of 5.6 seconds. With a pricetag of $90,000, it was also one of the world's most expensive. However, Alpina made 507 in five years. Photo:AFP
BMW Alpina B12 5.0 Coupé 1990-1994 : Although available for four years, there are fewer than 40 of these cars, with manual transmission and 12-cylinder engines, in the world. Photo:AFP
6/9BMW Alpina B12 5.0 Coupé 1990-1994 : Although available for four years, there are fewer than 40 of these cars, with manual transmission and 12-cylinder engines, in the world. Photo:AFP
BMW Alpina Roadster V8 Limited Edition 2002-2003 : Not all BMWs were perfect driving machines and the Z8 was a perfect example. Yet Alpina’s version managed to correct a lot of the original's errors and despite its huge ticket price -- €131,900 -- accounted for 10% of total Z8 sales (555 examples). It’s also the car that cemented Alpina's reputation in North America. Photo:AFP
7/9BMW Alpina Roadster V8 Limited Edition 2002-2003 : Not all BMWs were perfect driving machines and the Z8 was a perfect example. Yet Alpina’s version managed to correct a lot of the original's errors and despite its huge ticket price -- €131,900 -- accounted for 10% of total Z8 sales (555 examples). It’s also the car that cemented Alpina's reputation in North America. Photo:AFP
The BMW Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo 2013 : When this car went on sale in 2013, it was the world’s fastest production diesel car, whether in sedan or station wagon form. Capable of hitting 100kph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 173mph (278kph), it could return 53mpg. Photo:AFP
8/9The BMW Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo 2013 : When this car went on sale in 2013, it was the world’s fastest production diesel car, whether in sedan or station wagon form. Capable of hitting 100kph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 173mph (278kph), it could return 53mpg. Photo:AFP
BMW Alpina Edition 50 2015 : The latest Alpina, the Edition 50 is the most powerful and fastest in the company’s history -- 600hp, a top speed of 204mph (328kph) and production capped to 50 Sedan and 50 coupe versions in each territory in which the company currently operates. Photo:AFP
9/9BMW Alpina Edition 50 2015 : The latest Alpina, the Edition 50 is the most powerful and fastest in the company’s history -- 600hp, a top speed of 204mph (328kph) and production capped to 50 Sedan and 50 coupe versions in each territory in which the company currently operates. Photo:AFP
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